The positive thing, namely that British water companies have invested more than £80 billion in the past two decades which has resulted in vastly improved cleanliness of coastal waters was hugely overshadowed with the fact that seaside water quality has declined in the last couple of because of sewage from the overflows.
As British newspapers report tens of thousands of previously undisclosed sewage was spilled into bathing waters. The latest evidence suggest that sewage is being pumped up to five times a day into areas where holidaymakers swim and paddle, meaning that Britain has serious pollution problem that needs quick solution.
Among the most interesting data obtained from the Environment Agency are:
1.One overflow sewer pipe at East Looe, southeast Cornwall, was operated 94 times during the summer of 2008, including five discharges in a 24-hour period in July.
2. Three sewage overflow pipes at Combe Martin in north Devon operated more than 70 times during the 2008 season and more than 50 times in 2009. During one test, there were 23,400 faecal bacteria per 100 millilitres of water, compared with a recommended level for the cleanest beaches of 100 bacteria or fewer.
3. There were almost 19,000 raw sewage and floodwater spills recorded on the south coast in 2008-9, from Kent to Hampshire. Three sewage overflow pipes on the Isle of Wight were operated more than 100 times each in 2008.
As you can see beach and sea pollution is not just the problem in developing countries like some think it is. Britain certainly has its work cut out in solving this serious issue. Otherwise Britain will be once again labeled as the "Europe's dirty man".